How to Negotiate After You’ve Chipped in to a Paltry Salary

It is done. You have accepted a new job and are very excited to find out what Keurig scents are in the kitchen and who will be your new work best friend (or nemesis). But this is the initial “I did it!” high may disappear if your salary seems low.

Dont be upset. Perhaps after several months of looking for a job, this position achieved all the other desired results, or you changed careers and simply did not know about the market rates and accidentally lowered your rating. Never mind. You are where you are – and this is what to do now.

Get knowledge

The biggest obstacle is the lack of knowledge. If you already know that you have a low rating, that’s great (really!). If you suspect you’ve settled for too little but need more information, check out salaries in your industry at Glassdoor and Payscale , ask friends in the same or similar areas for advice, and compare the exact numbers if you’re comfortable. One colloquial icebreaker I use is: “Hey, so, I really like talking about money …!” If my friend says, “Me too!” it is a green light for sharing experiences. If they try to run, turn it off.

Know why it matters

Maybe you want to appear grateful when you got a job offer, or you felt uncomfortable negotiating but thinking about yourself at 10 to 15 years old, and remember: it really pays to get paid more now . Research shows that the salary you accept at the start of your career can determine your future earnings throughout your life. According to a recent report by the National Bureau of Economic Research, the average lifetime income of men is on the downward trend (the average income of men who turned 55 in 2013 earned $ 136,400 less in lifetime income measured in 2013 dollars than 55 -year-old man). -years 16 years ago), and the authors attribute this to a downward trend in men’s earnings in the early years of their careers. On the other hand, women’s median lifetime income has gone up, but that’s only because they, well, started from the bottom. If you’re already moaning about retirement, don’t feel trapped in where you are right now. It’s time to think about a strategy .

Stay optimistic

You are already employed, so try not to be offended by your low salary. No passive aggression or whining towards colleagues or partners. This is what it is, and if you waste precious time annoyed, daydreaming about a couple thousand dollars to spare, or moping around feeling underappreciated, it will show up in your work and will not lead you on the right path.

Get it all in writing in advance

If you know you are going to accept a low offer – and there is no place to bargain at the moment – you should request performance metrics and include them in your contract to better align future promotions, saysTeresa Merrill , Professional Career. a trainer specializing in salary negotiations and interview preparation. “You have to protect yourself,” she says. “No one is going to come up to you and say, ‘We need to pay you more! »» So you can tell them that you go a little lower where you want to be and you would like to be able to visit your paycheck again in a few months. Saying to yourself, “Well, I guess I’ll contact my boss in a year” will not lead to concrete results, so Merrill advises asking for performance reviews and raising rates if you achieve measurable goals. “If someone just proposed to you, they are not going to say the wrong thing,” she says, “but when you are at work, they are not going to say no.” It is managed from an early position of strength because, as she notes, “They don’t call it post- marriage.”

Do a great job

Even if everyone knows you are underpaid, again, no one will just give you the extra money. “It always comes back to achieving results. You cannot negotiate if you are not performing, ”notes Merrill, who is also a professional trainer for Muse Master . Let people know about your results and performance as they come, even if it’s as easy as emailing, “Glad the presentation was what you were looking for,” or something that sounds like a humble brag. but in fact it is true. This will come in handy during your review.

Take your boss to the finish line

When it’s finally time to ask for a raise, don’t give an ultimatum. “Good negotiators find common ground, they are not hostile,” says Merrill. It is easy to ask the question: “Were you happy when I was able to convert these customers / make these sales / increase web traffic?” After describing all the goals you have achieved, say, “Now I would like to discuss increasing my salary in connection with the work we just talked about.”

“Then they can’t say you’re doing a bad job because you just made them agree that you’re doing a good job,” she says. Do not flinch in this regard.

Consider your options

If you cannot get promoted as quickly as you would like, you have two options: leave your position or … in fact, there is only one option. Other perks may motivate you to stay for a couple of years, but don’t underestimate the psychological consequences of being in a low-paying job, which can skew your opinion of your own skills, self-worth, and value in your industry. It never hurts to sniff other places, and the fastest way to raise pay is to move to a new company. According to two new recent reports , employees who changed jobs earned about 1% more year-over-year than those who stayed with the same employer.

Rise in your industry

Perhaps cheap offers are the norm in your job. There are still ways to climb the career ladder. Experience makes you a more desirable product, so consider investing in skills that will make you more attractive to potential employers. (Depending on the industry, you can learn Adobe Photoshop, programming languages, or data skills with Coursera or Udemy .) Salaries can also vary greatly from company to company – a specialist firm won’t pay as much as big guns, so consider what is most important to you in the company. In addition, geography can play a huge role in wage differentials. If your career doesn’t tie you to one place and you have nomadic genes, you might get a pay raise by moving to a higher wage city, or alternatively feel like you got a pay raise by moving to a higher wage city. lower cost of living .

What is the most important thing to remember? As difficult and frustrating as your job search is, you don’t have to settle for what is offered to you. And if you accepted an unsuccessful offer, you will have many options for improving the situation, and you can learn from your mistakes next time. Learn, communicate more often, ask for what you deserve, repeat. And let us know if you get what you want.


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